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241.269 Both glorying to have 'scap'd the Stygian flood As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength; Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.

Is this the region, this the soil, the clime, Said then the lost Arch-Angel, this the seat That we must change for heaven, this mournful gloom For that celestial light ? Be it so! since he, Who now is sovran can dispose and bid What shall be right : farthest from him is best, Whom reason hath equall'd, force hath made supreme Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields, Where joy for ever dwells ! hail horrours ! hail, Infernal world! and thou, profoundest hell, Receive thy new possessour! one who brings A mind not to be chang’d by place or time. The mind is it's own place, and in itself Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. What matter where, if I be still the same, And what I should be, all but less than he Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: Here we may reign secure ; and in

my

choice
To reign his worth ambition, though in hell ;
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven,
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
The associates and copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonish'd on the oblivious pool,

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And call them not to share with us their part
In this unhappy mansion; or once more
With rallied arms to try what may be yet
Regain’d in heaven, or what more lost in hell ?

So Satan spake; and Him Beëlzebub
Thus answer'd. Leader of those armies bright,
Which but the Omnipotent none could have foil'd!
If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft,
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battle when it rag'd, in all assaults
Their surest signal they will soon resume
New courage, and revive though now they lie
Groveling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd;
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious highth.

He scarce had ceas'd, when the superiour Fiend
Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At evening from the top of Fesolé,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers, or mountains on her spotty globe.
His spear, (to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great ammiral, were but a wand)

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He walk'd with, to support uneasy steps Over the burning marle, not like those steps On heaven's azure, and the torrid clime Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire: Nathless he so endur'd, till on the beach Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call's His legions, Angel-forms; who lay intranc'd Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks In Vallambrosa, where the Etrurian shades High over-arch’d, imbower; of scatter'd sedge Afloat, when witli fierce winds Orion armed Hath vex'd the Red-sea coast, whose waves o’erthrew Busiris and his Mémphian chivalry, While with perfidious hatred they pursued The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld From the safe shore their floating carcases And broken chariot-wheels : so thick bestrown Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood, Under amazement of their hideous change. He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep Of hell resounded ! Princes, Potentates, Warriours, the flower of heaven, once yours, now lost, If such astonishment as this can seize Eternal Spirits; or have ye chosen this place After the toil of battle to repose Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find To slumber here, as in the vales of heav'n? Or in this abject posture have ye sworn

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To adorn the Conquerour? who now beholds
Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift pursuers from heaven-gates discern
The advantage, and, descending tread us down,
Thus drooping; or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulph.
Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!

They heard, and were abash'd, and up they sprung
Upon the wing; as when men wont to watch
On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
Yet to their General's voice they soon obey'd
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Wav'd round the coast, up call’d a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung,
Like night, and darken'd all the land of Nile;
So numberless were those bad angels seen,
Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell,
'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounded fires;
Till, as a signal given, the uplifted spear
Of their great Sultan waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain

353 384 A multitude, like which the populous north Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons Came like a deluge on the south, and spread Beneath Gibraltar to the Libian sands. Forthwith from every squadron and each band The heads and leaders thither haste where stood Their great Commander; Godlike shapes and forms Excelling human; princely dignities; And Powers that erst in heaven sat on thrones; Though of their names in heavenly records now Be no memorial, blotted out and ras'd By their rebellion from the books of life. Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve Got them new names; till, wand'ring o'er the earth, Thro' God's high sufferance for the trial of man By falsities and lies the greatest part Of Mankind they corrupted to forsake God their Creator, and the invisible Glory of him that made them to transform Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd With gay religions full of pomp and gold, And devils to adore for deities; Then were they known to men by various names, And various idols through the heathen world. Say Muse, their names then known, who first, who last, Rous'd from the slumber on that fiery couch, At their great Emperour's call, as next in worth

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